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A Pioneer of CPR Passes Away

August 06, 2015 | by Lifesaver Education

Dr. James Jude, recognized for his research in developing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), passed away on Tuesday, July 28.

Dr. Jude’s contributions to cardiothoracic medicine has revolutionized the way we save lives. In 1953, Dr. Jude began as a resident at John Hopkin’s University. At the time, he was studying how to prolong hypothermia in dogs, a process to cool the body’s core temperature. This proved difficult, as prolonged hypothermia would cause the heart to stop beating.

To combat this issue, Dr. Jude sought the assistance of Dr. William Kouwenhoven and his doctoral student, Guy Knickerbocker. Kouwenhoven and Knickerbocker were developing an external defibrillator that could be used outside the hospital.

During some experiments, Knickerbocker noticed that when he placed the heavy copper electrodes on the dog’s chest, the arterial pressure would increase. This finding led the three to collaborate further to develop external cardiac massage – now known as chest compressions.

By 1958, they found that by simply doing chest compressions, they could extend the window of successful defibrillation from one minute thirty seconds to 10 minutes or beyond. “We got it up to 10 minutes…20 minutes,” Dr. Jude said, “Practically as long as we had the energy to [compress on the chest].”

Before long, Jude, Kouwenhoven, and Knickerbocker were teaching CPR and creating films. CPR’s adaptation spread quickly across the world over the next few years and quickly became adopted by the American Heart Association.

As Dr. Jude once stated, “The beauty of this whole thing is that you can keep the brain alive for a period of time without anything – just yourself, until you can get a defibrillator.”

Over 50 years ago, resuscitation attempts only occurred in the hospital. Since Jude, Kouwenhoven, and Knickerbocker’s contributions to discovering chest compressions, anyone can learn CPR to save a life. Register for a class at Lifesaver Education to learn this simple lifesaving skill.

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